Bill's Media Releases

More Australians benefit from Fair Work enterprise agreements

Almost 3.5 million working Australians have now benefited from 26,000 enterprise agreements made under the Fair Work Act, according to the latest Trends in Enterprise Bargaining report released today.

Enterprise agreements made under the Fair Work Act include a range of provisions to drive productivity in the workplace and sustainable wages growth.

Bargaining between employers and employees at the workplace level is now widespread throughout the Australian economy and as at 31 March 2013, over 49 per cent of agreements contain a clause committing to improving productivity.

Productivity is three times higher under Labor’s Fair Work Act than during Work Choices. Trend labour productivity has increased in the last nine quarters.

The report shows the Fair Work system is delivering variable but sustainable wage outcomes by industry, reflecting the patchy conditions across the economy.

The average annualised wage increase for all agreements approved in the March quarter 2013 stands at 3.7 per cent. This is up by 0.3 per cent on the previous quarter.

This data comes in the context of solid growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, record low interest rates, low debt and a triple A credit rating.

Tony Abbott has no plan for the future and would only risk our strong economic fundamentals by cutting Australian jobs, wages and the support modern families rely on.

At its core, the Liberal Party believes in driving down wages and conditions through unfair individual contracts.

Under WorkChoices, 100 per cent of unfair individual contracts ripped away at least one so called ‘protected award condition’:

-       63 per cent ripped away penalty rates;

-       64 per cent ripped away leave loading; and

-       40 per cent ripped away rest breaks.

The latest report shows this Government’s workplace relations policies are working to deliver productive and sustainable outcomes for Australian employers and their workforce.

Labor believes that our greatest responsibility is to invest in the skills and education of our people to help drive Australia’s productivity performance and ensure that all Australians can participate, prosper and contribute in our society.

The March 2013 quarter Trends in Enterprise Bargaining report is available at: http://deewr.gov.au/workplace-agreement-reports

MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Casey 0421 697 660